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Chegini v. Harborview Mortgage Loan Trust 2006-12

United States District Court, D. Maryland

August 16, 2017

AZADEH CHEGINI, Plaintiff,
v.
HARBORVIEW MORTGAGE LOAN TRUST 2006-12, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Ellen L. Hollander United States District Judge.

         Azadeh Chegini, the self-represented plaintiff, filed suit against a host of defendants, including Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (“Wells Fargo”), as trustee on behalf of the holders of the HarborView Mortgage Loan Trust 2006-12 (collectively, “Harborview”); Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. (“SPS”); Bank of America, N.A. (“BANA”)[1]; and Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation ("MGIC"). Id. The dispute stems from a mortgage loan of $380, 000 obtained by plaintiff from First Magnus Financial Corporation (“First Magnus”) in connection with a property located on Pinecrest Heights Drive in Annandale, Virginia (the “Property”).

         Plaintiff's Complaint is 71-pages long. See Id. And, plaintiff filed 71 exhibits with her Complaint.[2]

         The Complaint is, at times, difficult to understand. Nevertheless, it appears that plaintiff asserts four counts.[3] In Count One, plaintiff claims that her mortgage is void or voidable because of violations of the Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1601 et seq.; the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C. §§ 2601 et. seq.; and fraud. ECF 1, ¶¶ 84-146. In Count Two, plaintiff claims that she is entitled to rescission under 15 U.S.C. § 1653(i). ECF 1, ¶¶ 147-172. Count Three asserts a claim of violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1691 et seq. ECF 1, ¶¶ 173-224. And, in Count Four, plaintiff asserts a claim under the Homeowner Protection Act, 12 U.S.C.A. §§ 4901 et seq. ECF 1, ¶¶ 225-259.

         Three motions to dismiss are pending. First, SPS and Harborview filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). ECF 4. The motion is supported by a memorandum of law (ECF 4-1) and exhibits. ECF 4-2 through ECF 4-4. Plaintiff opposes the motion (ECF 10) and submitted another 18 exhibits.[4] SPS & Harborview have replied. ECF 15.

         Second, BANA moved to dismiss the case for lack of venue, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(3), and for failure to state a claim, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). ECF 17. BANA's motion is supported by a memorandum of law. ECF 18-1 (collectively, BANA's Motion). Plaintiff opposes BANA's Motion (ECF 28), with exhibits. ECF 18-1 through ECF 18-5. BANA has replied. ECF 34.

         Third, MGIC filed a motion to dismiss (ECF 18) for failure to state a claim, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), supported by a memorandum of law. ECF 18-1. Chegini opposes MGIC's motion (ECF 27), with exhibits. ECF 27-1 through ECF 27-5. MGIC replied. ECF 31.

         No hearing is necessary with respect to the motions. See Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow, I conclude that venue is not proper in this Court. Therefore, I shall transfer the case to the Eastern District of Virginia, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a). And, because venue is improper, I shall not address the remaining motions.

         I. Background

         Chegini is the owner of the Property. ECF 1, ¶ 9. On or about October 18, 2006, plaintiff executed a Deed of Trust in favor of First Magnus and obtained an adjustable rate mortgage in the amount of $380, 000.00 (“Loan”), with an initial interest rate of 2.000%, secured by the Property. ECF 1, Ex. 2 (Deed of Trust) at 2. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) was selected as the nominee for First Magnus. Id.

         On or about July 20, 2011, MERS executed an assignment of the Deed of Trust to BAC Home Loans Servicing. ECF 1, Ex. 3. Thereafter, on August 10, 2012, the Deed of Trust was assigned from BANA, as the successor by merger to BAC Home Loans Servicing, to Harborview. See ECF 17-2 (Assignment). SPS is the servicing agent for Wells Fargo. ECF 1, ¶ 10.

         According to SPS, Harborview, and BANA, plaintiff defaulted in 2009 on her payment obligations under the Loan. See ECF 4-1 at 1 and ECF 17-1 at 3. BANA states that plaintiff has made no payments on the loan since 2009. ECF 17-1 at 3. As a result of the default, plaintiff has faced “numerous thwarted attempts at foreclosure.” ECF 1, ¶ 21. Indeed, Chegini alleges that she “has been in foreclosure, and under the threat of foreclosure numerous times and continuously during the last eight years.” Id. ¶ 104.

         On July 22, 2013, plaintiff filed suit in the Circuit Court for Fairfax County, Virginia, against Harborview; BANA; and SPS. See ECF 4-4 (State suit). In her state court complaint, Chegini asserted fifteen causes of action, including each of the four causes of action contained in the case sub judice. See Id. at 2-3. On August 21, 2013, the defendants removed the case to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. See ECF 1 in E.D. Va. Case 1:13-cv-01042-GBL-JFA (“Va. Case” or “Virginia Case”). On November 25, 2013, SPS, BANA, and Harborview collectively moved to dismiss the case for failure to prosecute, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b). See Va. Case, ECF 39. On December 12, 2013, Judge Gerald Bruce Lee, to whom the case was assigned, granted defendants' motion and dismissed the case, without prejudice. See Va. Case, ECF 43. This suit followed more than three years later, on March 9, 2017. See ECF 1.

         II. Standard of Review

         A defendant may challenge the sufficiency of the plaintiff's choice of venue by way of a motion under Rule 12(b)(3). Section § 1391(b) of 28 U.S.C. provides that venue is proper in:

(1) a judicial district in which any defendant resides, if all defendants are residents of the State in which the district is located;
(2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated; or
(3) if there is no district in which an action may otherwise be brought as provided in this section, any judicial district in which any defendant is subject to the court's personal jurisdiction with respect to such action.

         These three subsections are often referred to, respectively, as “residential venue, ” “transactional venue, ” and “fallback venue.” C. Wright & A. Miller, Federal Practice &Procedure, (3d ed.) (“Wright & Miller”), § 1304. The first two subsections are “preferred judicial districts” for venue, while the third subsection provides a “fallback option . . . .” AtlanticMarine Const. Co., Inc. v. U.S. Dist. Court for Western Dist. of Texas, ___ U.S. ___, 134 S.Ct. 568, 578 (2013). Thus, “if no other venue is proper, venue will lie in any judicial district in which ...


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